Portland cops held in contempt of court

Federal Judge Marco Hernandez has ruled the Portland police in contempt of court for violating his order restricting use of "less lethal" munitions. The judge cited three violations, including two by a cop named Brent Taylor (pictured), whose name is often chanted by protesters, and not in a flattering way. Taylor, who wore helmet no. 12 all summer, fired on protesters in violation of the judge's order at a rowdy demonstration at the police union office on June 30.

Maxine Bernstein of the O has the details here.

Hernandez identified three incidents that involved the use of the less-lethal launchers that violated his order: Officer Brent Taylor’s firing of 15 shots from his FN303 launcher against people carrying an “Abolish the Police” banner with a PVC-pipe frame;  his deployment of 10 rounds from the same type of launcher against people attempting to pull a person on roller skates away from police and back into the crowd; and the firing of a less-lethal launcher at a person who attempted to pick up an unidentified object from the ground.

Particularly noteworthy was the judge's rejection of the police's tired argument that protest signs and banners might somehow be used as weapons. They've wheeled that one out more than once over the past year. It's gratifying to see it dismissed as the poppycock that it is.

It's not clear what sanctions, if any, will be imposed on the police for the contempt citation. That will be decided later.